Someone once said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ This old and familiar phrase means that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. In many ways, I learned this on my first trip to New York City. I had often heard that New York City was so big, so fast-paced, and so diverse. But I wasn’t able to fully grasp it because I had never been to see it. Well, once I finally went I understood. That city is incredible. It really is so big and so fast-paced and so diverse. One might say you just have to be there to know what its truly like.
In many ways, God is like this. God is the most interesting and familiar subject in the world. All people everywhere think about God. They have thoughts on God, beliefs about God, opinions about God and so on. But all the different thoughts and opinions vary about God quite a bit.
One of the reasons why God is so misunderstood is because “no one has ever seen God” (John 1:18a). Therefore as sinners, humans don’t understand God properly. This is what leads to many people saying things like ‘if god was real he could just come prove himself to everyone.’ And many people say they would believe in god if they ever saw him. Well, they wouldn’t, but that is for another time and discussion.
This thought is what makes Christmas and Christianity so unique and valuable. It is unlike any other religion. Its truly different. It is not people trying to figure out God. It is God showing and explaining Himself to people. God came to us.
In John 1:1-18, John says that God became a human and that human is Jesus. Jesus is God and man. Jesus is the answer to all the worlds questions, confusions, and misunderstandings about God. Jesus Christ the God-man is the picture that is worth more than a thousand words. But He is even more than a picture. He is real life. He is a person. He is just like us. And He is God, so he is just like God. In fact, Hebrews 1 says Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”
John concludes this prologue (verses 1-18) by saying at the end of verse 18 that “he (Jesus)has made him (God) known.” The New American Standard version says it like this “he (Jesus) has explained him (God).” Jesus has made God known to the world. If you want to know what God is like, look to Jesus or look at Jesus. Jesus is the explanation of God. He is God in the flesh. He is God in a picture. As John MacArthur says “All that Jesus says and does interprets and explains who God is and what he does.”
Christmas is the culmination and fulfillment of this beautiful truth. The birth of Christ is the very moment that God became man. Galatians 4:4 says “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman.” And as Christ lived and taught our understanding of God was becoming more clear. Jesus explained Him. God in Jesus makes sense. He is no longer confusing.
This Christmas take heart that all of God and his promises have been fulfilled… in Jesus. Christmas is about God clarifying God. When the virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus the world received the greatest gift ever. God was blessing the world. God was explaining Himself to us. God was clearing up any confusion about what He is like. No other religion has anything like this. No other god is like our God, the true God. He makes sense to us now. He is great and He has people everywhere. If you this Christmas believe that Jesus is God coming to save us, then you are God’s child. If you will believe this, then you can be God’s child. As 1:12 says “to all who did receive Him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”